‘Starting to think more in a brand building way’: How DTC brand Adore Me is diversifying its media mix

Moving away from traditional performance marketing social channels has recently been top of mind for women’s underwear company, Adore Me. Late last year, the New York-based direct-to-consumer brand made a major push toward a more extensive marketing strategy, layering more digital and streaming video into the media mix.

“Clearly, diversification from Facebook and rising acquisition costs are at the top of mind for every marketer,” said Ranjan Roy, vp of strategy at Adore Me. “[We’re] starting to think more in a brand building way, in a top of funnel way.”

In the past, the DTC lingerie brand has relied heavily on linear television advertising for brand awareness. Facebook and other social media platforms have been key driver’s in the brand’s customer acquisition efforts, Roy added. But in light of an increasingly crowded digital advertising marketplace, rising costs and data privacy changes, Adore Me has taken a second look at digital video on YouTube and OTT to balance out the brand’s media mix for both brand awareness and customer acquisition, especially as technology has brought better targeting and measurement capabilities to video advertising. 

In a recent campaign, the women’s underwear brand moved to target men as a demographic specifically for its home try-on service, from a gifting perspective. The video spots ran across lifestyle networks as well as news and sports. They’re also extending the audience beyond the female target to reach male and Hispanic audiences, with custom creative for each, per Adore Me.

“There’s certainly more effort and opportunities around targeting and a better understanding of how your spend is going,” Roy said. “Trying to balance the platform acquisition instincts with that brand building side is something culturally, we’ve definitely gone through as a challenge.”

Adore Me’s recently implemented diversified media mix still includes linear television. But YouTube and OTT, across streaming services such as Hulu, Roku, Tubi, and ESPN, play a bigger role as the brand looks to fire on all cylinders, offering more touch points to meet shoppers where they are, he added.

It’s unclear how those ad dollars are being spent as Roy declined to offer details. Per Kantar, Adore Me spent $6.5 million on media within the first half of 2021. In 2020, the DTC brand spent at least $5 million on media. Those numbers do not include social media as Kantar does not track those figures. 

Adore Me is one of many DTC brands looking toward more expansive marketing strategies, beyond direct response and performance marketing tactics. Over the last year, Vivid Seats, Edible Arrangements and Shutterfly all have looked toward brand awareness channels, including digital video, to diversify their media mixes. 

It’s a trend that will continue across the industry, according to full-service agency Laundry Service’s chief marketing officer Mike Mikho.

“Everyone’s gonna jump to iOS 14 changes and rising CPMs and I think it’s important to note that performance marketing is getting squeezed on all sides,” Mikho said, noting that the digital advertising space is also becoming increasingly saturated with brands. “Competition is higher than ever and marketers can’t just rely on low hanging fruit.”

Looking ahead, Adore Me says it’ll continue brand building and awareness efforts using digital video. “Every brand is going to have to face this, especially as targeting becomes not as granular for privacy efforts,” Roy said.


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